Najib Takes Up the Mantle of the Sloganeer PM

By Farouk A. Peru

With the departure of Badawi (who now wishes to ‘catch up’ with sleep) and all his slogans like ‘Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang’, ‘Towering Malay’, ‘Islam Hadhari’, ‘Muslim Ulil Albab’ and more, me, and I bet a whole load of other Malaysians, were hoping to see substance instead of words with the coming of Najib Razak.

His release of ISA detainees, returning the license to publish Harakah and Suara Keadilan and of course the concept of 1Malaysia gave hope, albeit only a little, to sceptics like us that there will be change in times to come.

Thankfully, even that little hope was extinguished quite quickly.

The first sign of this political chicanery is that our new DPM, Muhyiddin Yassin, was quite clear in his language last weekend of what he thought of our Chinese fellow Malaysians. His following comment deserves scrutiny:

Ini yang mungkin menyebabkan sukar BN mendapat sokongan walaupun kita fikir bila mereka hendak sekolah Cina dibantu, kita bantu, sepatutnya mereka membalas budi.

It’s interesting here that Muhyiddin calls himself the ‘BN’ that helps the Chinese Schools. It’s obviously not BN which does the helping but the Malaysian Government itself. Does Muhyiddin think that Govt funds belong to the BN, to be disbursed where and when they choose?

It’s difficult to see otherwise because he uses the phrase ‘membalas budi’. What budi? This is government machinery at work! We pay taxes and exercise our democratic right to see the funds disbursed according to the will of the Rakyat. It’s not their budi which helped the Chinese schools. Muhyiddin’s mindset here is an ominous sign of the mentality of the Najib administration.

Next, we have the Malaysian equivalent of fascist skinhead thugs, Perkasa (Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia). It’s president, Ibrahim Ali, has declared his intention to run amuck if anyone tries to ‘confuse’ the concept of 1Malaysia. Now if Ibrahim and Perkasa are so strongly behind 1Malaysia, it can only mean one thing: 1Malaysia does not challenge their Ketuanan rights in any way.

Ibrahim further declares that we should not confuse 1Malaysia with Malaysian Malaysia (MM). MM, a concept propounded by the DAP, states that all Malaysians are equal so what does 1Malaysia propound then, if not this? 

Tell the head of UMNO Youth (who is extremely grateful for not being picked for the cabinet so he can focus on UMNO Youth activities), Khairi Jamaludin, who tells us that 1Malaysia is about Najib’s commitment to giving due rights to all Malaysians and not sidelining anyone and maintaining racial harmony whereas MM is about egalitarianism where everyone gets everything equally.

So lets get this straight – 1Malaysia is NOT about everyone getting everything equally, NOT being the key word here. 1Malaysia IS however about racial harmony and everyone getting what is DUE to them. So racial harmony comes from accepting one’s racial lot in life. For the Indians, accept your poverty because as part of 1Malaysia, that’s what you’re due. 

In fact, the new Puteri UMNO Leader, Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, felt really bad that people misconstrued 1Malaysia to mean that everyone would be treated the same. I guess the name must be really ambiguous. The ‘1’ in 1Malaysia doesn’t symbolise unity of treatment, it symbolises unity of Malaysians in continuing to swallow UMNO propaganda. 

This svengali-like sloganeering of our new PM, propounding a hollow 1Malaysia concept, does not bode well for us at all. In truth, any kind of political initiative which undermines the ubiquity of Ketuanan Melayu will not come from UMNO. UMNO’s raison d’etre cannot be anything other that segmenting Malaysians racially under the pretext of helping the Malays whilst actually helping themselves. 1Malaysia actually means ‘1Malaysia for UMNO to carve out as they please’. Malaysians need to move past racial and religious politics for the future of the nation.